Rose finishes strongly to take U.S. Open lead

Justin Rose produced a strong finish to take a one-stroke lead after the U.S. Open first round on Thursday.

The world number four made birdies on his final three holes to shoot a six-under 65 and grab the outright lead at Pebble Beach.

The 65 tied the lowest round at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, matching Tiger Woods in 2000.

Rose sits one shot in front of a four-way tie for second, which features Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise.

Fowler, who is looking for his first major win, mixed six birdies with just one bogey.

“The execution was very good. I’m happy with the start,” Fowler told reporters after his round. “You can’t go out and win it on the first day, but you can obviously put yourself in a good position or take yourself out of it and you’re having to fight back.”

Fowler hit 13 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens on his way to his 66. He finished with six birdies, with his only blemish a bogey at the ninth hole.

Schauffele has top-six finishes in three of his past five majors and a fortunate eagle at 18 put him in a tie for second.

“Lucky finish. I hit a toe ball there. The line I thought wasn’t too aggressive,” Schauffele told reporters after his round. “If I hit it solid I do have 290 in the air. But when you hit it off the toe and it’s diving against a cut wind it usually doesn’t work out. Luckily I hit the correct shot of a rock and it sort of careened down the fairway, 168 out. Very fortunate and happy we capitalised on a really lucky break.”

Scott Piercy and Nate Lashley fired four-under 67s to be tied for sixth, a shot ahead of an eight-man group that includes Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari.

Two-time defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka started hot but cooled off to finish his round at two under and in a tie for 16th.

Woods battled around the course but is still in range of the leaders at one under.

Justin Thomas struggled his way to a two-over 73 and Phil Mickelson shot a one-over 72.